How You Can be an Advocate
Be An Advocate!
- for Surplus Captive Wildlife
- for Animals in Zoos
- for Animals in Circuses & Entertainment
- for Animals at Canned Hunting Ranches
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions and What You Can Do To Help
What You Should Know:
- Responsible breeding entails more than producing offspring. It must involve providing for animals and their progeny for the rest of their lives; a long-term plan for habitat protection; and a long-term plan for protection of wild species.
- Circuses often justify their captive breeding programs by saying they are saving endangered species.
Captive bred animals are never good candidates for reintroduction to the wild.
- Drive-through animal parks breed animals that have nowhere to go creating a surplus supply of captive bred animals.
- Often, traveling circuses and drive-through parks and petting zoos will promote their business through schools and kids clubs.
- Exotic animal auctions are proof that captive breeding programs don’t work. In addition, they are cruel to animals; they pose a threat to public safety; and they spread diseases such as salmonella, TB and herpes.
- In-breeding often produces animals who will suffer poor health and genetic defects.
- Approximately 40% of the animals that leave zoos are sold to dealers, auctions, hunting ranches, unidentified individuals or unaccredited zoos or game farms.
- Approximately 30% of these animals go to professional animal dealers, some of whom are unlicensed.
- Beyond the initial sale of zoo animals, subsequent transactions are virtually impossible to track. Further, no effort is made to track their future offspring.
- In the U.S. alone, the surplus animal trade is a multi-billion dollar business with increasing links to drug trafficking.
1/3 of all cocaine seized in the U.S. involves some level of exotic wildlife trade.
- In Texas alone, there are at least 500 canned hunting ranches.
Animals sent to hunting ranches may come from backyard breeders, drive-through wildlife parks, the entertainment industry, dealers or zoos.
- A monthly zoo association catalog of surplus animals, lists thousands of animals “for sale” or “free.”
- A cougar cub may be purchased for as little as $50, a polar bear may be purchased for as little as $100.
- Most animals at PAWS were victims of surplus breeding – eventually rescued from horrendous conditions of abusive and negligent backyard breeders, traveling zoos or circuses or impounded by law enforcement officials during drug raids.
What You Can Do To Help:
- Don’t buy into the public relations argument that saving endangered species is a justification for captive breeding.
- Ask your local zoo questions about their captive breeding and surplus animal policy.
- Ask local zoo to establish policies that provide lifetime care for their new births.
- Ask zoos, circuses and traveling shows if they use bull-hooks to train and manage their elephants.
- Determine if elephants are provided adequate space to ensure free range movement and natural behavior.
- Ask circuses that come to your area if they breed animals – challenge them by asking what future plans they have for the animals; what plans they have for habitat protection; what plans they have for protection of wild species.
- Tell friends and family not to patronize any use of animals in entertainment and urge them to boycott drive-through parks, zoos, and circuses that participate in irresponsible breeding programs.
- Write sponsors and producers of movies and events that exploit animals, advising them why you will not patronize their product.
- Urge sponsors and producers to use non-animal acts or animatronics.
- Contact your local authorities and county and city officials and work to have local ordinances passed to ban keeping exotic pets.
- Contact your state and federal representatives and ask them to abolish animal auctions.
- If exotic animal auctions occur in your area, contact your local humane society and the USDA to request that they visit auction facilities and cite violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
- Contact your local authorities and county and city officials to have local ordinances passed to ban canned hunting.
- Contact your state and federal representatives to abolish canned hunting.
- Support legislation to get elephants off chains.
Never think that one person doesn’t have the power to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Pat Derby talks about the latest captive wildlife news at PAWS.
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